Tuesday 19 February 2013

Chuff Chuff Chuff... Fazzzzaaaak!

Hi, All!
Professor Shandy Tanglefoot's Over-Compensatory Death-Ray of Doom! (for humanitarian purposes only, obviously!)

Tonight's post comes to you from the not-so-solubrious surroundings of a motel in Auckland, where I find myself somewhat lacking in glue and plastic rod... So, I thought I'd just let you all see the little side-project that filled the last three days of my holiday last week.

A concept sketch I doodled months ago. I wasn't sure back then how I was going to go about this.

Bits of stuff, destined for greatness!

So, without further ado, let me introduce you to:

Professor Shandy Tanglefoot's Over-Compensatory Death-Ray of Doom!

And my, oh my, what fun this one has been!

An old drill, DVD, broken bracket, push-pins and cogs from a printer form the main body of the weapon.

You will no doubt recall the motor I stripped from an old drill and made the central feature of the core room of Lord Smudgington Smythely-Smythe's Hydraulically Motorvated Sextupedal Land-Traversing Vacational Domicile. Well, for this piece, I decided to put the drilly-end of the drill to good use.

A reflector from a broken light becomes the main body of the Death-Ray. Card strips, cogs from a correction tape, a piece of an old transformer and other bits quickly transform junk into a very cool machine!

The gun's focussing array starts life as a washer and the nozzle off a glue bottle. Brass wire, plastic tube, beads and crystals from a chandelier are used to build the array.

Standing the drill on its end and adding bits of junk was a wonderfully fast way of getting a very tall, very complex-looking structure. I glued a broken bracket to the top of it and started just sticking stuff on where it seemed to fit. Later on, this slap-dash approach caused a few painting issues (I should have painted a few bits before attaching them) but the speed with which things evolved really kept me enthused!

Legs and girders, boiler, planking and gun-mount are constructed. I chose plastic for the planking for strength. The woodgrain effect was easy to achieve using very heavy grade sandpaper.

The structure is carefully balanced together, prior to painting.

I wanted a steam-powered look for this weapon, as for all of my others, but whereas I have tended towards large locomotive-type boilers elsewhere (and huge for my ongoing Giant Walker project) I decided to be a bit silly and give the Death Ray a really tiny boiler. This, I constructed from plastic board and a piece of the inner tube from a receipt roll. A couple of cylinders were made from push-pins and sacks of coal were made from green stuff and pieces of grit.

The main structure is painted before other parts are fixed in place. Note the big side-panel and chimney, thrown together very simply from plastic board and rod.

Cogs and rivets abound! And a sheet of corrugated iron..?

If anything, the danger with a fast project such as this is the temptation to rush ahead at the cost of detail. I had to slow down and remind myself that the true value of a Weapon of Mass Delusion lies in its rivet count!

Boiler, gantry and really big cog, rivetted and painted.

The focussing array, painted. I am really happy with how this turned out!

Focussing array and gun, painted and joined. Loads of rivets and nice thick guitar-string-conduits add plenty of interest.

The main crystal shines within the reflector.

And so began a Super-Epic rivetting session...

Handrails and ladder are constructed from plastic tube, rod and sheet. Copper rings and painted jewelery chain are added. This was the fiddliest fiddly bit.

Gun and tower details. Some of my rivets have rivets. this is becoming a habit.

When it came to painting this monstrosity, I found myself a little limited. I have used a lot of red and green on other machines, and blue or yellow just didn't seem 'Death-Ray-ish' enough... So I went black and brass. I was worried that this might be a little too simple, but in the end, set-off against woodgrain, copper and a touch of greenery, it worked beautifully!

A drive-belt joins two massive, rumbling, rumbly things.

The underneath bits. Sacks of coal (sorry about the wet glue in-shot) cylinders, cogs, boiler and ladder.

Control levers, conduits, transformer and handrails.

The dastardly Professor Shandy Tanglefoot beside the dastardly weapon's dastardly controls!

Just because it's what I do: The Rivet Count for this ridiculous weapon is a whopping 1158 ! All done in a matter of a few hours' work. Not bad, if I say so myself...

A Hydrothermicopter's eye-view.

I have to say that this model is a definite favourite. I'm thrilled with how it has turned out and it's a great example of how a good piece of work can be simple, fast and fun to produce.


Let's just hope Her Majesty's forces can find and destroy it before lives are lost!

Next post: Back to Lord Smythely-Smythe's Hydraulically Motorvated Sextupedal Land-Traversing Vacational Domicile...

All the Best!


  1. Fazaakin 'ell old fruit, thats stupendous but I really feel you should get out more.
    All this inventing and assembling of rods, plastic and copper gizmos must be taking a fearful toll on even your indefatigable constitution....time for a spot of tea and a buttered crumpet methinks. Even our beloved Britannic Majesty has time for a tea break dontsha know.

    1. Ogilvie! Greetings!

      Get out more? It was that big scary world outside my nice quiet room that did all the damage in the first place!

      I have no crumpets right now, but I do have a bottle of port. Will that do?

      Thanks so very much for you concerns for my wellbeing!

  2. Another marvel!
    But... 'simple' to produce???? Relatively, maybe, but for us common mortals...

    1. Abdul! Great to hear from you!

      'Simple'? Well, yes.

      Maybe one day I'll take the time to do a step-by-step guide to making a 'complicated' machine. I wish I could convince you all...

      The trick to modelmaking is to imagine your creation broken down into its simplest parts. After that, the rest is fairly easy, so long as you take your time and remember how good it will look if you make the effort - and don't skimp on the details!

      I'm mortal too. Honest.

  3. I just don't know what to say ... amazing, simply amazing!

    1. Thanks, Arteis!

      You could say, "the next round's on me!"

  4. You did this 3 days??? Did you , eat or sleep at all???

    Simply breath-taking!

    I am concerned for all the electric gadgets in your house, they must tremble in fear of being stripped for parts as you walk past! ;-0

    1. Thank you Scott!

      Please remember to breathe.

      My electrical gadgets are all fine, thanks for asking. When next you visit after dark, you'll find my place easily... the neighbours have inexplicably lost all their lights...

    2. LOL, it wouldn't surprise me... ;-)

    3. It might. My daughter might be waiting with a steam-powered axe...

  5. Gadzooks man! Careful now as I believe if this was plugged in it would be a fully operational Death Ray.

    Great piece of 'terrain'. Looking forward to a triple rivet application.


    1. Triple Rivets???? Are you insane, man?!

      It is a fully operational Death Ray, of course! All rumours to the contrary were a cunning ploy, and no amount of spear-wielding teddy bears will get the British Army out of this one! Mwah ha ha!

      Thank you. You're too kind!

  6. I say! Rather splendid, what? Her Majesty's Forces must find and take this weapon as soon as possible, before it falls into the wrong hands!

    Seriously, a brilliant little piece of model engineering, and in such a short time scale. Well done!

    1. A J, Old Bean! Tally Ho and all that!

      I'm very very pleased with this monstrosity. Glad you like it too! It was a new and exciting way to spend three days, I can tell you!

      Sincere thanks.

  7. Brilliant work, as always.

    I notice the Professor has an interesting design on his smock.

    1. Squire Womack! I salute and thank you!

      When are you going to publish another edition of the Aethergraph?

      I've always had a fondness for booby-aprons. Don't we all?

  8. And double rivets aren't necessarily rivets. Could be riveted washers. Rubberized on the inner surface to protect against leakage.

    Death rays and leakage are a fatal combination.

    1. Squire Womack again! Where are my cookies, man?!

      Rivets or washers, I still had to cut and stick all the tiny bits, Sir! I'm counting 'em!

      Most things and leakage are a fatal combination. One learns this with age...

      Thanks again. And thanks for your very kind mention on your blog!

  9. That is, quite simply, brilliant!

  10. Tremendous Sir, perhaps one of my favourites too!

  11. Dang! Now I know you graduated Summa Cum Laude for the Institute of Rube Goldberg's Maniacal Contraptions!

    Super job!

    1. Hi Jay!

      I may indeed have graduated, but I was too drunk to notice...

      Much appreciated!

  12. Don't fret about the corrugated iron. It was invented in England in the 1820s by Henry Palmer. I am sure he contracted to supply Professor Shandy Tanglefoot.

    1. You may be right. I have the receipt somewhere...

  13. Wonderfully imagined and executed. Well done indeed.

  14. Wow, very cool and very well done!

  15. Superb creation worthy of a master....

    Best Wishes

  16. Have you tried scrolling down your blog quite fast, and keeping your eyes on one of the sets of green lines down each side. Feels like a moving train. Just saying.

    1. Even better if you turn your head sideways.

      And they say I have too much time on my hands...

  17. Oh, that's a beautiful piece of work!

  18. that's lovely - and so huge!

    As the actress said to the mad scientist.

    1. Rob, I suppose I should thank you - but she promised she would never tell...

  19. Very nice and incredible job. I like that

  20. Absolutely fantastic work.Love the use of various bits and pieces to construct the whole project into looking very much like an actual machine.Well done!

    1. Thanks, Geoff!

      I'm a big fan of bits of junk - it's all about how you look at things. Pretty much anything can become a part of something new and bizarre.

      Consequently, I have loads of crap sitting around in my house...

  21. Sir, you are a genius! I prostrate myself in admiration!

    1. That sounds rather painful to me... I'd be more than happy to settle for a raised glass or three!

      Thank you!